Cryptocurrency analyst. Founder and editor at btcpeers.com
Although the world is reeling from the effects of the ongoing global pandemic, the crypto space, on the other hand, continues to flourish. All through 2020, the digital asset market showed growth in the face of a looming economic crisis, so much so that its market cap crossed the $1 trillion mark for the first time. Already the achievements of 2020 have begun to set a positive tone for the new year. It is more than likely that the crypto industry will maintain this very positive uptrend in 2021.
Both industry players and consumers have started to take advantage of the explosive growth of cryptocurrencies and there has been a significant influx of institutional and retail investors. For a majority of crypto start-ups, 2021 presents an opportunity to expand the scope of their businesses. We can expect more fundraising and an increase in marketing, to showcase crypto-backed products and services for a mainstream audience.
One of the platforms from the industry is Crypterium, an emerging crypto “banking” service provider. Having achieved several milestones in 2020, Crypterium is looking to maintain its momentum by enhancing existing services and creating new ones. The start-up wants to build on the 10X monthly profit growth and the 300% increase in transactions recorded in 2020. More importantly, it is planning to explore new regions and become a truly global brand.
As you would expect, these plans require serious funding. Crypterium has chosen to adopt alternative financing options and has announced that it is hosting a fundraising campaign on Seedrs, a UK regulated platform, where companies can connect to a global network of investors to raise capital.
Following Crypterium’s announcement, we made a text interview with Steven Parker, the CEO of Crypterium, for more details.
Andrey Sergeenkov: Can you share with us some of the milestones achieved by Crypterium in 2020?
Steven Parker: In 2020, Crypterium has developed and launched more than 15 different products and services, to become the best crypto “bank” worldwide. By consistently following our strategy of being an all-in-one fintech solution to help customers easily use digital assets and completing our core product development, we have achieved a really positive increase in customer numbers and revenues.
Our key performance results are as follows: 300% growth in transaction volumes; 150,000,000 EUR turnover; 10 times increase in monthly profit; the first and still sole, complete B2B cryptocurrency solution available to leading businesses apps; our number of customers has doubled, and monthly active users have increased 6 times.
Today, Crypterium is used in over 170 countries, making us probably the most global crypto wallet start-up. Since our launch in 2018, more than 350,000 customers have joined Crypterium and rely on our Crypterium Wallet and its related Visa Card to connect their digital assets with traditional finance. Following our launch of B2B solutions, and the current positive trajectory in the crypto market, we plan to have over 5 million users by the end of 2021.
Andrey Sergeenkov: Using Crypterium as a case study, how do you rate the impact of crypto prices in the last few months on start-ups?
Steven Parker: Rising crypto prices have re-awakened investor interest and trading volumes have increased significantly. For an easy-to-use crypto platform, with attractive features, such as Crypterium, this has led to a 150% increase in our number of new accounts. It has also led to a 200% increase in transaction volumes, which, like any exchange service, is a major driver of our revenues. Finally, as consumers use our platform, they find all the other features, such as our Visa payment card, borrowing, and savings, and start using those services. Our virtual Visa Card has proven particularly popular.
Andrey Sergeenkov: Do you believe that the bullish momentum is sustainable all through 2021?
Steven Parker: If I knew the question to that, I would retire from business and become a day-trader! There are certainly a number of reasons to remain bullish. Firstly, demand for cryptocurrencies is far outstripping the supply of a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, which recall, is deliberately capped in the number of tokens that can be mined. We currently have over 18 million coins in circulation, with a cap of 21 million to be mined in total. More and more players are entering the market such as Fidelity, PayPal, and now Visa creating more and more demand.
Secondly, spending and deficit policies in the US, are leading to concerns that inflation will devalue the US Dollar. As an alternative “currency”, which has limited supply, Bitcoin, for example, and some other cryptocurrencies, could be seen as a natural “hedge”.
However, as well all know, the relatively small size of the crypto-market and easy tradability of tokens means that most cryptocurrencies can be highly volatile.
Andrey Sergeenkov: It is safe to say that Crypterium is looking to capitalize on this bullish trend by enabling a viable growth plan. What are the developments slated for this year and beyond?
Steven Parker: Our fundraising round would support medium-term expansion plans for Crypterium in multiple regions, as well as boost our user acquisition efforts.
Following our strategic roadmap for 2021, the funds would be aimed at the following initiatives: Improve Crypterium’s Visa program; developing and launching cryptocurrency card services for other markets such as the United States and, potentially, China; scale Crypterium’s B2B services. To date, we have received interest from almost 100 retail business apps, eager to connect to our services; expand our transaction volumes to a yearly target of $1 billion; particularly through active user acquisition campaigns, to secure our target 5+ million customers; acquire new licenses to serve multiple jurisdictions, with a broader set of services.
Andrey Sergeenkov: What are the measures put in place to ensure that these goals are met?
Steven Parker: To reach our full potential, we need to think and to some degree act as a “bank” of the future. A convergence of crypto and fiat currency worlds is inevitable and we aim to be a leader - the easy to use app that consumers can turn to for all their daily crypto and fiat currency needs.
In our view, only a cryptocurrency visionary can take this space. We have the vision to be such a leader, but that requires significant capital for key building blocks such as licenses in key markets, scaling our technology and services, and active user acquisition and education. Over the next 3 years, we could anticipate that we may need to raise as much as $500m in capital, but for now, we want to take a small step to test investors’ appetites and scale realistically, before we go out to major investment funds.
As a first step, Crypterium has announced that it is hosting a fundraising campaign on Seedrs, a UK regulated launchpad platform, where companies can connect to a global network, of primarily retail investors, to raise capital.
Andrey Sergeenkov: Why have you and your team decided to opt for Seedrs as the preferred fundraising channel, and how were you able to scale the platform’s rigorous assessment process?
Steven Parker: Seedrs has had over £1 billion invested in the platform. All investments made through Seedrs offer voting shares to investors and use professional-grade subscription agreements. This ensures that investors get the same level of protection that angel investors and venture capitalists enjoy.
Seedrs is backed by Augmentum Fintech PLC, a leading European Venture Capital firm, as well as over 2,500 of its own customers. Seedrs is authorized and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority.
Following a series of rigorous legal checks, Crypterium was approved by Seedrs as a reliable partner to host an exclusive launchpad for a closed private equity sale. Seedrs has verified that Crypterium meets the highest standards for investors. The UK platform has also been used by well-known fintech projects such as Revolut, Oval, and CapitalRise, amongst others.
As Seedrs is a regulated fundraising platform, with a strong brand reputation, Crypterium has to comply with the highest standards in order to feature on Seedrs.
Andrey Sergeenkov: How important is this development to Crypterium, equity investors, and the crypto industry at large?
Steven Parker: This is an important step in the development of digital assets. Crypterium is one of the first companies to develop beyond pure crypto and into the more mainstream financial sector. We are actively seeking licenses across multiple markets and opening up new distribution channels, outside crypto-only markets.
We wish to be at the forefront of making crypto mainstream. Underpinning our vision of making crypto easy to access and easy to use is this new opportunity for people to become early shareholders in leading the crypto “banking” service.
Andrey Sergeenkov: How much are you looking to raise through this program?
Steven Parker: The goal for the first-round investment on the Seedrs platform is 1,000,000 EUR
Andrey Sergeenkov: Is there a special requirement that investors must meet before they can acquire a stake in the company?
Steven Parker: There are no special requirements to participate in this fundraising activity. Investors should follow three simple steps – 1) sign up on Seedrs.com, 2) visit Crypterium’s portal, 3) click on “Get Priority Access”, and then follow the participation instructions. Of course, the normal advice around investing in a start-up, such as Crypterium, and being aware of the risks in investment choices still applies.
Andrey Sergeenkov: How can this fundraising campaign possibly impact the value of Crypterium’s native token, CRPT?
Steven Parker: Over the past two years, Crypterium has made major advances, and the new funds will help us expand in ways that could help millions of new consumers.
The fundraising is expected to be profitable not only for equity investors but also to boost the growth of CRPT, which serves as a utility token on the Crypterium platform, due to the significant increase in transaction volumes (where CRPT is used as “fuel”).
As mentioned, a majority of crypto start-ups have an opportunity to expand the scope of their businesses in 2021. We can expect more fundraising and an increase in marketing, leading to more widespread adoption of crypto-backed products and services.
However, regardless of the current attractiveness of cryptocurrencies as an investment vehicle, only companies that have robust customer propositions will stand a chance of succeeding. It is also imperative to pick the right fundraising channel, have an attractive investment structure and create a compelling narrative to give your brand the needed boost.
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